the Aviation Oxygen Portables...breathe easy!
"CONSTANT FLOW" OR "DEMAND-TYPE" OR "PULSE-TYPE"
FOR USE AT FLIGHT LEVELS UNDER 24,999 FEET
(Links Are Provided to Each Topic Discussed in Depth)
|Regulator - Positions/Places Available
||1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6
||2 or 4
||1, 2, 4, 6
|Reguator - Style
|Cylinder Types/Materials Available
|Cylinder Sizes Available
|Cylinder Duration @ 10,000ft [cylinder E/M]
|Lowest Price - 4-place 22cf system (2008)
|Superior Constr/Design of Opt CarryingCase?
|Oxysaver Style Utilized?
|Hi Pressure Clamps Necessary? Special Tools?
|Dual Index Flow Meters for Precision Flow?
|Parts/Service/Maintenance for Other Systems?
|Open Distribution/Dealer Channels?
|Available Upgrades for Other Systems?
||YES (12 )
|Availability of Pulse-type Elec/Mech Regulator
Until recently there were significant differences
between the aviation oxygen portable systems offered by Aerox
and Nelson and SkyOx. There is, however, precious little to tell
them apart these days.
What gives here? Every general aviation oxygen system must include
a cylinder, regulator, and delivery equipment. What's going on
here? Let's take a looksee...
Nelson offers three aluminum cylinder - sizes D, E & M.
four aluminum cylinder - sizes A,C,D and E.
Aerox offers five aluminum cylinders from which to choose -
sizes A, C, D, E and M. In addition they sell 11cf and 22cf portable
systems using Kevlar Composite cylinders for an additional $900.
Today's generation of portable systems come with an aluminum
cylinder because they are 1) lightweight, 2) inexpensive, and
3) have no life limit. They need to be hydro-tested every five
years. (The cost for the test will vary, depending on where you
take the cylinder - most pilots take their cylinders to a local
welding shop - who will most probably send it out to a cylinder
supply house for the actual test)
[NOTE: Aerox has larger aluminum, steel or composite cylinders
available for purchase for replacement or remote use i.e. not
for portable use as they must be secured with clamps.] Steel
cylinders have a 15 or 24-year life limit, with a hydro-test
required every three or five years and they are quite large.
Composite/Kevlar cylinders have a 15 year life limit with hydro-test
required every three years. The composite cylinders are significantly
lighter than are aluminum or steel - thus the higher cost.
is generally acknowledged that piston type regulators are
more efficient at lower pressure levels, and it has therefore
largely replaced the diaphragm-type due the simplicity of
construction and unquestioned reliability. The piston type
has only one moving part, and it will deliver the designed
flow down to less than 50 psi.
these companies uses a Sherwood Regulator. Aerox and Nelson
use the piston type which are quite compact and
low profile. The diaphragm-style used by Sky
Ox is quite large, and it comes with altitude gauge.
company offers regulators with up to four ports. Should you wish
to add a position at a later date, Aerox offers a simple Y-adapter
to be added to any of the four ports (up to eight persons). The
SkyOx regulators are not expandable. The 2-place Nelson regulator
is expandable to four, but this must be done at the factory.
NOTE: It is important to decide at the outset how many
positions you will need, since adding options at a later date
is not cost effective with any of these companies.
and Nelson developed their now well-known flow meters which come
with dual-index (one for use with the Oxymizer cannula; the other
for when converting to a mask over 18,000 ft.).
of the Nelson Flow meter is that it necessitates the use of three
different hose clamps to keep the components (flow meter, tubing
and connector) from blowing apart with the high pressure emanating
from the regulator. The clamps require a special tool to be taken
off or on. In addition, the Nelson reportedly has breakage where
the valve stem meets the flow meter, either during flight or storage.
Some pilots find that the oxygen flow is inadvertently changed
when the in-line needle valve catches on a sleeve or on other
system places their needle valve at the connector where flow reduction
takes place and no clamps are needed. Also, the Aerox flow meter
fits snugly into the modified tubing ends provided by the Chad
to decide 1) if each passenger can/should be responsible for altitude
settings and then to remember 2) to monitor the in-line needle
valves to make sure the flow has not inadvertently/accidentally
been changed by catching the sleeve on whatever.
Sky Ox does not use a flow meter.
They use a flow indicator, which tells you only if the oxygen
is on or off, and not how much flow you are getting for what altitude
or whether or not your hose is kinked. They regulate the flow
of aviation oxygen by the setting the green gauge to .60
liters per minute (there is no reminder or arrow to point to .60).
No matter the altitude, this setting remains at .60 liters per
minute. It is not changed unless you go over 18,000 feet. At this
point you will don a standard mask, and reset the green gauge
to the altitude flown instead of .60 liters per minute.
and Masks (aviation oxygen)
Aerox and Nelson both
supply the Chad Oxysaver nasal cannula with their systems.
Sky Ox offers the Chad Oxysaver pendant cannula. Each of
these cannulas is efficient and has been approved for use up to
18,000 feet over which you must use a standard mask or cannula.
Most pilots find the tubing
on the pendant cannula to be rather stiff and unyielding, comfort-wise,
and the ear loops bug them. The nasal cannula seems to be comfortable
and can also be used with a headset or when drinking or eating.
Aerox, Sky Ox and Nelson all use brass plated steel quick-connectors.
cases/harnesses are provided by Aerox and Nelson--and The Airport
Shoppe. While all of these cases provides a pouch or pocket
which appears to be for storage of the delivery equipment -
do not use it for that purpose unless you wish to kink the
hoses and intermingle the sneezes and sniffles of the cannulas!
At one time the Aviation Consumer touted the Nelson system
for having the "superior" carrying case - albeit
they did not find their system superior. Since that pronouncement
all manufacturers, including us, have provided a deluxe carrying
case with pouch and other features - necessary apparently to
meet the exacting standards Aviation Consumer. [The Airport
Shoppe in addition offers square
zippered accessory case with two or four dividers for separating
these very personal items. These sell for $42.95 and $49.95.
Use the pouches for snacks.]
and Airport Shoppe cases are made from the more durable DuPont
Ballistic Nylon. The Nelson case is made from DuPont Cordura.
Each carrying case fits the corresponding cylinder snugly and
offer a separate harness which attaches the cylinder "papoose" to
the seatback for safety in flight. The Nelson case has Velcro
straps which wrap the neck of the cylinder to secure it during
flight or use when the "papoose" is open. The Aerox
and Airport Shoppe cases zip up so the regulator is covered
during flight for additional safety during turbulence. All
harnesses from these companies have strong webbing, buckles
and snaps for safety and security of the cylinder.
model is flimsy, poorly padded and has no harness separate
from the carrying case. The one handle provided is intended
to loop over the seat back--it is then resting diagonally on
the back floor--a very undesirable design.
and Mountain High have introduced "pulse demand" systems
[see Portable Systems menu for details] to complement their "constant
flow" Oxysaver systems. Their advantage i.e. state-of-the-art,
does not yet appear to justify the disadvantages i.e. weight,
bulkiness, low duration increases, back-up operation,
and, of course, cost.
Aviation Oxygen Duration
Both Aerox and Nelson enjoy extremely high oxygen duration because
their patented needle valves allow precise oxygen flow to be selected
for each altitude flown, ranging from .25 liters per minute to
.50 liters per minute. SkyOx flow duration is significantly decreased
since flow is to be set at a constant .60 liters per minute no
matter what altitude is selected for flight.
HERE for Cylinder Specs and Aviation Oxygen Duration
are safe only when used with the Oxysaver pendant or nasal cannulas
provided. Should the pilot place someone on a regular mask or
cannula, the higher altitude index MUST BE SELECTED.
- Nelson: 2-year
- Aerox: Limited
- Sky Ox: One year
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